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Camino Mendocino to the Camino de Madrid - information, stages etc.

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NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
No prizes for guessing where the Camino de Madrid begins - in the wonderful city of Madrid. However, there are also some alternative starting points, including Guadalajara, on the Camino Mendocino.

I walked the Camino Mendocino and the Camino de Madrid in May 2019. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure why I decided to start in Guadalajara rather than Madrid. It was probably a combination of factors - I wanted a slightly longer walk to Sahagún and the idea of a solitary and beautiful first few days really appealed to me. I was a little nervous before setting out, but I needn't have worried. This is a very special Camino, with some very special people.

I wrote about my experience in a 'live from the Camino' thread. The photos on that thread give an idea of the terrain and the highlights. Since getting home, I've been meaning to do a follow-up post, so better late than never! I hope this this information helps and encourages anyone thinking about walking this little route - it's VERY doable.

Overview:
Starting from the Iglesia de Santiago in Guadalajara, the Camino Mendocino is a 96km route to Manazanares el Real, where it joins the Camino de Madrid. Walking from Guadalajara, (instead of Madrid) adds about 46kms to the total distance.

This is a newly recognised Camino route, lovingly developed and waymarked by the Guadalajara Camino association. It's still relatively unknown and the volunteers are working hard to promote the route and to welcome pilgrims.

Guides and resources:
Forum members @rayyrosa have prepared a detailed guide and GPS tracks. This was my main source of information when planning my stages etc. It's a very well-marked route, but I was glad to have the GPS tracks on my phone for reassurance.

Julián Pascual, one of the people responsible for creating this route also wrote a guide, with the help of his teenage son and daughter. I also found some useful information in this one.

The Guadalajara Camino Association (a small group of busy volunteers) issues a special Camino Mendocino credencial and are incredibly helpful and welcoming. Their email address is aacaminoguadalajara@gmail.com and they also have a facebook page. I'd strongly encourage prospective pilgrims to make contact with the association.

Stages, accommodation etc.
I walked this Camino in 3 stages (more details and photos in my earlier posts):

Day 1: Guadalajara to Viñuelas - 30.4kms
This is the one stage where it's essential to carry food. Marchamalo (5.8kms) has all services, but most will probably closed when pilgrims are passing through. The petrol station at the start of town sells very basic provisions. The nearby bar opens early for coffee, but didn't seem to have much else. Best to stock up before leaving Guadalajara!

The guides suggest that there's no intermediate accommodation between Guadalajara and Viñuelas. However, I spotted this place in Marchamalo.

sV4ompb+RhCCwGLDEW%wSQ.jpg

The next services are in Fuentelahiguera de Albatages (25kms from Guadalajara). I had tea and a sandwich in the bar. Apparently there's also a shop, but I didn’t see it.

Viñuelas has a municipal albergue with new beds and mattresses. It's clean, spacious, comfortable, with hot showers and a place to wash and hang laundry. However, the kitchen has no equipment at the moment. There's a small bar in the town that might do food - I'm not sure.

The albergue keys are collected from Julián Pascual at the Residencia de Mayores. You need to let them know in advance that you're coming - tel: 94 985498. I phoned a few days beforehand and Julián was then able to send me useful information by WhatsApp. Meeting Julián, his family and the elderly residents of this facility was a wonderful experience and one that I'll never forget. It's as though the Camino runs through the home - the residents are fully engaged in the process of welcoming pilgrims and wishing them well on their journeys. It's also one of the happiest places imaginable.

ff09b850-60fe-44da-a655-de9d0007348c.jpg VBAp6ROBRReM+jHDZju5bw.jpg


Day 2: Viñuelas to Redueña - about 32kms.
All the guides suggest stopping in Torrelaguna (22kms from Viñuelas). That makes perfect sense as Torrelaguna has a convent allbergue and private options. It's also the most logical stop if walking this Camino in 4, rather than 3 days.

As I was planning on 3 stages, I decided to walk to Torrelaguna, check into the Posada and then walk 9kms to Redueña (where there's no accommodation). I planned to get the bus back to Torrelaguna, but one of the local Camino volunteers very kindly insisted on giving me a lift. It was easy to get back to Redueña the next morning - a quick bus ride (no.197c) from Torrelaguna at 7.30am. That probably sounds very complicated, but it worked well and made day 3 a lot more manageable.


Day 3: Redueña to Manzanares el Real - about 34kms
This was a long and tiring day, but a really enjoyable one with plenty of services and stunning views. Probably my favourite of the three days.

I stayed at Ray y Rosa's albergue, which is great and very close to the route. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet them, but their daughter took very good care of me.

xBGDNS34TECxH1oaPhdr4w.jpg
Evening view in Ray y Rosa's - heaven!

For those wishing to do this Camino in 4 stages, I'd suggest staying in Guadlix de la Sierra (22.6kms from Torrelaguna) or Soto del Real (11kms further) on day 3.
I noticed this small hotel in Guadalix (not mentioned in any guides):
Xmz+Up0nSXa13UhYU3Cepw.jpg Zqbp4gFYTJu%7dlYC%7YpQ.jpg 8PCxyXRwSeafi8A0EWF3Vg.jpg

There's a youth hostel (Refugio La Rodela) 3kms after Soto del Real. I didn't check it out as I figured that if I made it that far, I could definitely manage another 6 or 7kms to Ray y Rosa's place!

All in all, I'd highly recommend this little Camino. I continued on the Camino de Madrid and the Salvador, which I throughly enjoyed. However, my three days on the Mendocino were definitely the most memorable and special. If I were to do it again, I might opt for four, rather than three days. It would have been nice to have more time to explore Torrelaguna as it's a really nice town.

I really hope that more pilgrims discover and walk this route! Happy to answer any questions.

Nuala
 
Last edited:

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
No prizes for guessing where the Camino de Madrid begins - in the wonderful city of Madrid. However, there are also some alternative starting points, including Guadalajara, on the Camino Mendocino.

I walked the Camino Mendocino and the Camino de Madrid in May 2019. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure why I decided to start in Guadalajara rather than Madrid. It was probably a combination of factors - I wanted a slightly longer walk to Sahagún and the idea of a solitary and beautiful first few days really appealed to me. I was a little nervous before setting out, but I needn't have worried. This is a very special Camino, with some very special people.

I wrote about my experience in a 'live from the Camino' thread. The photos on that thread give an idea of the terrain and the highlights. Since getting home, I've been meaning to do a follow-up post, so better late than never! I hope this this information helps and encourages anyone thinking about walking this little route - it's VERY doable.

Overview:
Starting from the Iglesia de Santiago in Guadalajara, the Camino Mendocino is a 96km route to Manazanares el Real, where it joins the Camino de Madrid. Walking from Guadalajara, (instead of Madrid) adds about 46kms to the total distance.

This is a newly recognised Camino route, lovingly developed and waymarked by the Guadalajara Camino association. There have been very few pilgrims so far and the volunteers are working hard to promote the route and to welcome pilgrims.

Guides and resources:
Forum members @rayyrosa have prepared a very helpful guide and GPS tracks. This was my main source of information when planning my stages etc. It's a very well-marked route, but I was glad to have the GPS tracks on my phone for reassurance.

Julián Pascual, one of the people responsible for creating this route also wrote a guide, with the help of his teenage son and daughter. I also found some useful information in this one.

The Guadalajara Camino Association (a small group of busy volunteers) issues a special Camino Mendocino credencial and are incredibly helpful and welcoming. Their email address is aacaminoguadalajara@gmail.com and they also have a facebook page. I'd strongly encourage prospective pilgrims to make contact with the association.

Stages, accommodation etc.
I walked this Camino in 3 stages (more details and photos in my earlier posts):

Day 1: Guadalajara to Viñuelas - 30.4kms
This is the one stage where it's essential to carry food. Marchamalo (5.8kms) has all services, but most will probably closed when pilgrims are passing through. The petrol station at the start of town sells very basic provisions. The nearby bar opens early for coffee, but didn't seem to have much else. Best to stock up before leaving Guadalajara!

The guides suggest that there's no intermediate accommodation between Guadalajara and Viñuelas. However, I spotted this place in Marchamalo.

View attachment 61442

The next services are in Fuentelahiguera de Albatages (25kms from Guadalajara). I had tea and a sandwich in the bar. Apparently there's also a shop, but I didn’t see it.

Viñuelas has a municipal albergue with new beds and mattresses. It's clean, spacious, comfortable, with hot showers and a place to wash and hang laundry. However, the kitchen has no equipment at the moment. There's a small bar in the town that might do food - I'm not sure.

The albergue keys are collected from Julián Pascual at the Residencia de Mayores. It's advisable to let them know in advance that you're coming - tel: 94 985498. Meeting Julián, his family and the elderly residents of this facility was a wonderful experience and one that I'll never forget. It's as though the Camino runs through the home - the residents are fully engaged in the process of welcoming pilgrims and wishing them well on their journeys.

View attachment 61459


Day 2: Viñuelas to Redueña - about 32kms.
All the guides suggest stopping in Torrelaguna (22kms from Viñuelas). That makes perfect sense as Torrelaguna has a convent allbergue and private options. It's also the most logical stop if walking this Camino in 4, rather than 3 days.

As I was planning on 3 stages, I decided to walk to Torrelaguna, check into the Posada and then walk 9kms to Redueña (where there's no accommodation). I planned to get the bus back to Torrelaguna, but one of the local Camino volunteers very kindly insisted on giving me a lift. It was easy to get back to Redueña the next morning - a quick bus ride (no.197c) from Torrelaguna at 7.30am. That probably sounds very complicated, but it worked well and made day 3 a lot more manageable.


Day 3: Redueña to Manzanares el Real - about 34kms
This was a long day, but a really enjoyable one with plenty of services and stunning views. Probably my favourite of the three days.

I stayed at Ray y Rosa's albergue, which is great and very close to the route. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet them, but their daughter took very good care of me.

For those wishing to do this Camino in 4 stages, I'd suggest staying in Guadlix de la Sierra (22.6kms from Torrelaguna) or Soto del Real (11kms further) on day 3.
I noticed this small hotel in Guadalix (not mentioned in any guides) when passing through:
View attachment 61450 View attachment 61451

There's a youth hostel (Refugio La Rodela) 3kms after Soto del Real. I didn't check it out as I figured that if I made it that far, I could definitely manage another 6 or 7kms to Ray y Rosa's place!

All in all, I'd highly recommend this little Camino. I continued on the Camino de Madrid and the Salvador, which I throughly enjoyed. However, my three days on the Mendocino were definitely the most memorable and special.

I really hope that more pilgrims discover and walk this route! Happy to answer any questions.

Nuala
A very helpful, (and very tempting!) description Nuala.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Another one of those posts, opened out of simple curiosity, that opens into something more. In this case, temptation.
Thank you, Nuala!
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.

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